I had an epiphany.
I was reading this book for school called The Englishman’s Boy by Guy Vanderhaeghe, and I noticed that printed on the cover was a boastful announcement that the book was a winner of the Governor General’s Award, which is pretty much the highest honour a Canadian novel can attain in its lifetime.
I kept that image in the recesses of my mind throughout the first half of the book, thinking about every page I read, considering if it was a page worthy of such an honour. I’m only halfway through with the book so far, but I’ve already decided that I could write something just as good.
Enter my epiphany.
See, all my life, I’ve only ever wanted to be a prodigy. I didn’t care what kind of prodigy—musical genius, child star, world-renowned painter by the age of four—it didn’t matter. I just wanted to be one. However, the time margin for becoming a prodigy is rather narrow. I wasn’t that brilliant at the piano, and my mom wouldn’t take me to L.A. for commercial auditions like I begged, so I was pretty much S.O.L. Child prodigies can’t very well take a cab to California, now can they? They’d miss the school spelling bee (which, by the way, I didn’t win, so there went the dream of being a prodigious speller, too). By the time Lindsay Lohan completed filming the 1998 remake of The Parent Trap, I knew I’d missed my chance. At the age of twelve, really good musicians are just…really good musicians. By the time they’re fourteen, child stars are just early bloomers. Nothing spectacular about that.
BUT. (There’s so much hope in a “but,” don’t you think?)
But, that was before I knew I wanted to write a book. Now that I’ve got a new goal in mind, it’s like I’ve been born again—I’ve got a brand new lease on life. By novelist’s standards, I’m just an infant! I figure I have until I’m 27 or 28 to be a young author; any time after that, and I’ll just be an author in her 30s. No biggie. But if I start NOW and have a manuscript ready by next year, I’ll only be 24, and that’s still pretty young to be getting books published.
So there it is. My newest purpose in life. Starting today, every spare minute that I’m not writing for school or for this blog will be spent writing my manuscript for my very first novel.
You can hold me accountable to that. One year from now, if I don’t have a deal signed, I’ll be starting a new manuscript.
And so it begins.
When I’m famous or even dead, my Wikipedia page will note this as the beginning of “The Prolific Years.”